13 years for pedophile who fled Israel
Judges criticize defense witnesses including rabbis for praising haredi man who was extradited from Britain to face accusations of sexual offences
Nachman Stal, who fled to Britain after being accused of sodomizing a youth of 14 years, was sentenced Sunday to 13 years behind bars.
Stal, who was extradited to Israel in July last year, received 12 years' imprisonment for sexual offenses and an additional year for evading justice. Tel Aviv District Court also criticized rabbis who had come to Stal's defense.
The legal proceedings began a decade ago, when Stal was accused of indecent acts with a youth he had given a lift to as part of his job. According to the indictment, Stal touched the youth a number of times, and during one particular trip he stopped the vehicle near a bench, in a quiet place, and despite the youth's protests, sodomized him.
He then gave the youth NSI 200 ($50) and instructed him not to tell anyone. The youth finally told the rabbi of the school where he was studying. With support from this rabbi, he then submitted a complaint against Stal with the police.
In 2000, the accused fled Israel to Belgium, and the indictment was cancelled. A new indictment was submitted in 2005 when Stal returned to Israel, and one year later he again fled, this time to Britain.
The judges, headed by Judge George Kara, severely criticized the witnesses for the defense, including the wife and father of the accused, head of London's South Tottenham Jewish community Rabbi Michael Biberfeld, and Rabbi Yosef Krauser, who supervises the yeshivas in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood.
The judges also referred to Stal's acts. "The accused took advantage of the victim's innocence and chose him in order to carry out his deviant acts," they wrote. "The accused tempted the victim a number of times, so that he would be easy prey."
In addition to the penalty of imprisonment, the court ruled that Stal must pay his victim compensation of NIS 50,000 ($13,500).
Rabbi Found Guilty of Sexually Abusing Teen
Rabbi Baruch Lebovits, courtesy FailedMessiah
The Borough Park rabbi/travel agent accused in hundreds of incidents of sexual abuse was convicted yesterday of molesting a 16-year-old student. Baruch Lebovits could be sentenced to 32 years in jail, after being found guilty on eight counts. "I understand that there are a significant number of Jewish holidays coming up,” said the judge. “And I am sorry." The young victim testified that in 2004 Lebovits offered to let him drive his car, then unzipped his fly and performed oral sex on him. Among the rabbi’s other alleged victims is a young Hasidic man who committed suicide on his honeymoon, by jumping from the seventh story of a hotel.
Last week the victim—who’s since left the ultra-Orthodox community—said that after being abused by Rabbi Lebovits, he’s fallen prey to heroin and other substances. The defense attacked him as an unreliable addict, and insists he was trying to blackmail the powerful community leader. "We’re extremely disappointed," said lawyer Arthur Aidala of the guilty verdict. "We were hoping that the jury was going to see things differently...Mr. Lebovits still maintains his innocence." Friends and relatives gasped at the ruling, but at least one person was pleased. "Thank God, justice was served," said the father of the abused boy, according to the Daily News.
Lebovits was acquitted on two other counts, reports the Post, but still faces charges in two more molestation cases, that could earn him another eight years behind bars.